Kishkindha – Of Myths, Monkeys, and Mystics
I woke up earlier than the alarm clock I set last night. There were no nightmares, or probably I had a dream more beautiful to catch when I am awake. It can be the eagerness of an excitement of stepping into the no-man’s land where I always dreamt to be at. Next stop, Hosepete – where our adventure begins to unfold.
Bags – check. Gadgets – check. Shoes on, we are out of the train. It must be the luggage we carried which gave us away- the moment we set foot on the platform, an auto-rickshaw driver came to us and asked whether we needed a ride to Hampi. The fare he quoted for the 13 km ride was ₹250, which we found reasonable. Off we go, in the tuk-tuk.
We had to stop by an ATM vestibule, as only very few places in Hampi accept plastic. The driver asked whether he should drop us near the ferry terminal or the bazaar. The ferry is to cross the river Tungabhadra, to the other side of Hampi. Most of the restaurants and stays are across the river, as most of the Hampi side belongs to the archaeology department of India. We had our room reservations at Gowri Resorts and we had to take the ferry.
Which is why when the driver told us there are no ferries there now, we had a mild panic attack. If there is no ferry, we would have to take a longer route which spans about 30 km.
Before I could roll my eyes at John on his admirable trip planning skills, the driver speaks again.
‘The river is almost dry in the summer. You could just cross it by foot.’
Well, crossing Tungabhadra by foot is definitely something I could add to my ‘look-what-I-did-in-Hampi’ list.
‘Tuk-tuk' ing from Hospete to Hampi was mostly through barren lands and a few villages. There were a handful remains of ancient structures – probably temples – on the road. When we finally reached ferry point, the driver made a ‘generous’ offer to take us around as a tour guide for Rs.1500. The offer was too generous to accept, we took his number though.
Tungabhadra was mostly dry, naked, showing out her inner rocks with a few strands of streams that remained. A stretch of stone stairs lead us to the river where a lot of pilgrims were around swimming and splashing.